SMU vs. East Carolina Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for College Football Week 7

A full betting preview for the SMU Mustangs and ECU Pirates in a Thursday night AAC matchup.
SMU Mustangs quarterback Preston Stone (2)
SMU Mustangs quarterback Preston Stone (2) / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

For the time being, the SMU Mustangs are still in the American Athletic Conference and once they move from the AAC to the ACC, they’ll miss matchups like this one against the East Carolina Pirates. 

SMU is 3-2 with losses to Oklahoma and TCU while ECU is 1-4 with their only win coming over Gardner-Webb. Both teams were on a bye last week and now SMU will look to stay unbeaten in AAC play on Thursday Night in Week 7. For a look around the country this week, check out BetSided college football betting expert Reed Wallach’s weekly column and preview. 

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Now, let’s get into the odds for SMU and ECU. 

SMU vs. East Carolina Odds, Spread and Total

East Carolina and SMU Betting Trends

  • East Carolina is 2-3 ATS
  • The UNDER is 3-2 in East Carolina games
  • SMU is 2-3 ATS
  • The UNDER is 4-1 in SMU games

SMU vs. East Carolina How to Watch

  • Date: Thursday, October 12
  • Time: 7:30 PM EST
  • Venue: Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium
  • How to Watch (TV): ESPN
  • SMU Record: 3-2
  • East Carolina Record: 1-4

SMU vs. East Carolina Key Players to Watch


Jaylan Knighton, RB: In SMU’s last game, Knighton only ran the ball 11 times, but he finished with a staggering 150 yards and two touchdowns. Hs averaging 6.5 yards per carry on the year and leads the team with 332 rushing yards. LJ Johnson Jr. and Camar Wheaton also get regular carries, but Knighton has been by far the most efficient back. 

East Carolina

Alex Flinn, QB: Flinn is the player to watch, but not really for good reasons. He is only completing 49.1% of his passes and averaging 5.5 yards per attempt. He has five interceptions and one touchdown, but looks to be the primary quarterback over Mason Garcia. 

SMU vs. East Carolina Prediction and Pick

The East Carolina Pirates are horrendous, but it’s not because of its defense. Mike Houston’s team ranks 33rd overall and 44th in yards per play, only allowing 5.2. The Pirates rank 45th against the pass and against the run. In their Week 5 loss to Rice, they outgained the Owls, 391-277, but fell 24-17. 

Honestly, Houston's team should be able to slow down the SMU offense led by Preston Stone, who is only completing 58.5% of his passes. Stone does have 11 touchdowns and 1,191 yards through the air, but SMU is 55th in yards per play and 50th in pass offense. Stone has also thrown five interceptions.

The issue for ECU is their offense and specifically the quarterback position. Alex Flinn is awful and yet he seems to be the team’s best option. The Pirates rank 130th in yards per play gaining just 4.4 and are 112th in scoring offense only averaging 21.0 points per game despite a 44-0 win over Gardner-Webb. Outside of that game they are averaging 15.25. 

The Mustangs are fairly stout defensively ranking 23rd in total defense and 21st against the pass. That’s why seven of their last 10 games have gone to the under despite the team averaging the 25th most plays per game in the country. The under will be my bet in this one. 

Follow all Josh Yourish’s bets HERE

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change